It took awhile to get here.
I started just like anyone, with my CS degree in hand and a job doing some development for a mid-size corporation’s operations departments. I hacked on things like payroll systems, IT inventories, and intranets. I was the ultimate code-and-fix developer. There were no tests anywhere near my code. I googled practically everything and slopped up the biggest balls of mud around. Just like so many others.
At some point, probably after another 2am support escalation or a midnight deployment on the day a project was due, I was probably muttering obscenities and talking to myself, and I said, “someone has to know a better way.” And that’s when I entered this alternate dimension where I found out: someone does know a better way.
Lots of people, actually.
I put in the time. I started spending hours and hours on top of work, and what hours my managers at work would allow, to read and read and read, and learn and learn and learn, and network and network and network–anything I could think of to find a better way.
And it worked.
I’ve read dozens of books, watched hundreds of hours of video, sat through hundreds of hours of lectures, gathered on-the-job experience working for tech industry giants, and more. I became the 2017 Outstanding Master of Software Engineering Student at Seattle University and walked out of there with my Master of Software Engineering. I was interviewed about this great program in the alumni magazine.
The point is it didn’t come easy.
I had to put in the time. And I still have to. I don’t expect to ever see a day where I’m not hungry for more, a day I stop learning. Only–I want to learn smart. I realize I stand on the shoulders of giants: people like Tom and Mary Poppendieck, Kent Beck, Tom DeMarco, and many others. People who realize the importance to our industry of people, quality, professionalism, and respect.
In short, I won’t call myself a software engineer without earning it. And without keeping it up. And that’s what I aspire to. Thanks for reading my humble blog and I hope you find it helpful. If you do, please drop me a line and I’ll try my best to reply.
Note — A longer bio is also available.